Howard University Expected To Get $13 Million In Bailout Bill

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Howard University
Howard University is set to receive $13 million in bailout funding from the historic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday. In this photo, graduate students cheers as the President Barack Obama delivers Howard University’s commencement speech during the 2016 Howard University graduation ceremony in Washington, Saturday, May 7, 2016. In a commencement speech at one of the nation’s leading historically black schools, Obama said there were no black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and few black judges when Columbia University awarded him a bachelor’s degree in 1983. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Howard University is set to receive $13 million in bailout funding from the historic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday. However, not everyone is happy about the amount of money designated for the renowned Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Passed in a unanimous 96-0 vote, the bill says Howard will receive the funding “to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus including to help defray the expenses,” which include things like lost revenue, technology costs, distance learning, etc. Now the bill heads to the U.S. House for approval.

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Critics highlighted the fact that Howard has a healthy endowment and asked why they’d been given the amount. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida was among the most vocal of them.

“$13,000,000 in taxpayer funds could be going to families across the nation struggling to put food on the table in the midst of COVID-19. Instead, it’s going to Howard University. Education is important- but a $13 million check to Howard does not belong in COVID-19 relief,” Gaetz tweeted.

He was met with a flood of criticism from Black and white people alike who accused him of showing his racism by “singling out” the HBCU; particularly because he didn’t mention the $7 million in aid going to Gallaudet University. They also noted Howard houses a prestigious hospital, which is a COVID-19 coronavirus treatment center.

“Respectfully Congressman, stop playing the race card. Denying funding to #HowardUniversity —-a university that houses one of the most important hospitals in the national capital region— would be malpractice in this moment,” NAACP President Ben Jealous tweeted in response.

“God forbid a black university receives money, which by the way has been designated one of DC’s #COVIDー19 treatment centers. Put your racism aside if only during this health crisis, Matty.” tweeted @CapiLady.

“Dear Rep. Matt Gaetz, Why is Howard University in the relief bill? Great question! Howard University’s hospital is a COVID-19 treatment facility. It is within walking distance from your office. Hope this helps, you dumb f***,” tweeted comedian Steve Hofstetter.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is a Howard alum, went further to demonstrate how the percentage of money Howard is receiving compares to the overall context.

Howard themselves even seemed to tweet to educate critics about the history of their medical program.

“HU Facts: Howard University operates a world-class medical simulation center, 6,000 square foot state-of-the art simulated learning environment, offering resources to advance a comprehensive healthcare education program,” the university tweeted.